Investors with an interest in Financial - Investment Management stocks have likely encountered both Principal Financial (PFG) and Eaton Vance (EV). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.
There are plenty of strategies for discovering value stocks, but we have found that pairing a strong Zacks Rank with an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system produces the best returns. The Zacks Rank is a proven strategy that targets companies with positive earnings estimate revision trends, while our Style Scores work to grade companies based on specific traits.
Principal Financial and Eaton Vance are both sporting a Zacks Rank of # 2 (Buy) right now. This means that both companies have witnessed positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that both of these stocks have an improving earnings outlook. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.
Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.
The Value category of the Style Scores system identifies undervalued companies by looking at a number of key metrics. These include the long-favored P/E ratio, P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that help us determine a company's fair value.
PFG currently has a forward P/E ratio of 8.17, while EV has a forward P/E of 12.73. We also note that PFG has a PEG ratio of 0.98. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. EV currently has a PEG ratio of 1.90.
Another notable valuation metric for PFG is its P/B ratio of 0.94. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, EV has a P/B of 4.37.
These are just a few of the metrics contributing to PFG's Value grade of B and EV's Value grade of C.
Both PFG and EV are impressive stocks with solid earnings outlooks, but based on these valuation figures, we feel that PFG is the superior value option right now.